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Wilderness Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books; 1 edition (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407130145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407130149
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 1.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ten-year-old Tom Griffin and his older brother, twelve-year-old Johnny, live in Dublin, Ireland, with their parents and a teenaged half-sister, Grainne. Grainne has not seen or heard from her mother since she was a baby, and now her mother is coming from America for a visit. Grainne is nervous about the visit. Will seeing her mother heal the hurt of being abandoned by this woman?

The boys' mother, Sandra, decides to take the boys somewhere else during the visit by Grainne's mother, and arranges a holiday in Finland for herself and the boys. They are going to have a grand adventure. This story is told in alternating chapters as Tom and Johnny become acquainted with sled dogs and their handler and then go off into the wilderness on an exciting dog sled ride to a remote lodge. And as Grainne nervously waits for the arrival of her birth mother.

The boys are excited about the chance to help feed and water the sled dogs, and to help with camp chores. They are having a grand time, until their mother disappears. Her lead dog is a rogue who decides to go his own way, and she becomes lost in the cold, snowy uninhabited forest. It is dark, and the sled tips over and injures Sandra. She can't get back on the sled, or get the dogs under control.

The boys decide to take a team of dogs and sled and search for their mother on their own, and they sneak out of the lodge and harness the dogs. It's dark and cold, with deep snow, and the trail is not clear, but their lead dog seems to know where he is going...or does he?

Tween readers can relate to the realistic characters and their emotions as Roddy Doyle tells this dramatic story in sparse, simple language, while keeping the tension high.
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Format: Paperback
The last reviewer said that this had school reading list written all over it. Well I guess I'm about to prove his point. I'm a secondary English teacher and this was left at our school by a Heinemann rep. Seeing as I was the only one who seemed vaguely interested in this book I took it home.

Now, I'm no Roddy Doyle devotee (I've never even wanted to read any of his work before) so if you're looking for a Doyle fan's perspective, some of the other reviews might help you more.

What I can say is that when reps leave novels for us I rarely finish them and never enjoy them, but I did enjoy this - a lot.

A previous reviewer mentioned that there is little of Roddy Doyle's humour in the novel, and well, I guess he's right. There aren't any jokes. Where I disagree with the previous reviewer is his assessment of the parallel storylines. I felt that they worked brilliantly. I wanted to know about the boys. I wanted to know about their sister. I found that my interest in both story lines was maintained throughout. And the two ideas are cleverly linked.

For me it was just subtle enough, and Doyle fills this book with subtle portrayals of character delivered in precise uncomplicated prose. Most teenage fiction misses the mark for me, but I believed this. It was great.

I picked this up (having forgotten about it on Monday, by Wednesday night I'd finished it. Now I am a bit of a soppy 'eejit' I admit, but the end to this book made me cry.

School reading list, here we come! - given a fair wind and a bit of leeway in the budget at least.
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A Kid's Review on 10 July 2009
Format: Paperback
My mum bought this book for me and i didn't know whether i would like it or not but once i started it gets addictive. The story is about 2 boys and their mum who decide to go on holiday to Scandanavia. They all go on a trip but their mum doesnt return. Its up to them to save her! 10/10

One of the best!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the way there was 2 parts too the story ,it really got me interested and the story itself was great. I really liked the husky dog Hastro and how he was so cheeky.I really got into the story and I look forward to reading more of Roddy Doyle books!
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful adventure story about two boys, Tom and Johnny, who go to Lapland with their mother on holiday and get caught up in a race to find her when her dog sled goes off course in the middle of a snow storm. The story entwines with the story of their older, half sister Grainne, who stays behind in their home town of Dublin, waiting to meet the mother who walked out on her when she was just a toddler. The story of Grainne and her mother is told in tiny snatches in between chunks of the adventures of Tom and Johnny. It might seem uneven but it works perfectly, and both stories explore the relationships between a mother and her children and what separation can mean for both parties on different emotional and physical levels. The story is simply and powerfully told, in short, punchy chapters. The characters are well sketched and the economical use of narrative helps to drive the plot forward to its exciting conclusion. I thought this was magnificently written, and although it is very different from Doyle's earlier works for children, The Giggler Treatment and their sequels, this is a gripping adventure story that will be eaten up by children who want to explore what else Doyle can do.
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